Whole Grain Education

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Whole grain tips and contest results:

We have been working on whole grain recipes this week and ran a contest for the best ideas from health educators. It was very hard to pick the 10 best responses - so we picked 11 and all are receiving our whole grain poster. We liked these because we know everyone is more pressed for time and money and they show a practical and delicious side that we liked. Here they are - we received them via phone, email and our blog:

  1. "In response to what I do with whole grains in my kitchen. I always use whole wheat flour whenever I bake. It’s great for my family and no one even knows! I have also mixed whole wheat pasta with regular pasta until my family got use to the taste, now I just use whole wheat pasta when I cook. Lastly, I love trying out new food items. The newest item I have used is faro, a middle eastern pasta with a taste similar to barley. I have a great salad recipe for this grain. Have a great day!"" --- Terry Weideman, Professor – Nutrition, SI Coordinator-ASC
  2. "I found a barley risotto recipe w/quick cooking barley and brown rice. Saute onions and mushrooms first in olive oil, add chicken broth and the two grains. Season with garlic powder and black pepper. Shred fresh spinach and add a little to bring out some color. It’s great." --- Cheryl
  3. "I love using Barilla Plus pasta - it has a higher fiber and protein content which helps folks get more fiber and feel more full - this is especially great for diabetes patients. It has some semolina flour so it is more palatable than some 100% whole wheat pastas." --- Deborah Linehan, RD
  4. "We are a whole grain family (even though my husband calls it the brown pasta!). I rave about whole grains to the college students I see all the time. I am a huge fan of whole wheat couscous – for the time pressed, it is very quick cooking and quite versatile. I like it in stuffed peppers in place of rice or as a one-dish meal with garbanzos, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, garlic, halved cherry tomatoes, fresh corn and a little olive oil and lemon juice.I also enjoy using bulgur for homemade tabouleh or mixed with brown lentils, parsely, lemon juice, garlic, green onion, shredded carrots, crushed red pepper and olive oil…all wrapped up in a whole wheat tortilla." --- Shauna Schultz, RD
  5. "Though I like to try to make whole grain recipes, more often than not I’ll just try to jazz up a batch of whole grain pasta or rice (could be barley, etc.). I add leftover brown rice or whole wheat pasta to soup—makes it more hearty and satisfying and can skip crackers. Another option I learned from my sister when I was a teenager is to use a higher proportion of rice to soup and make the dish casserole thickness. Sautéed onions, garlic, veggies, etc. can be added in to kick up the flavor and texture." --- Janice Cochran, MS, RD, Wellness Education Services, University at Buffalo
  6. "I like to substitute flax seed, 1/4 cup ground, for some of the flour, whenever I make rolls or breads. When I do a group presentation about fat or fiber, I bring along the whole flaxseed, coffee grinder, and small snack-size plastic bags, so they can see how easy it is to grind the flax seed. Then, they get a sample of fresh-ground flaxseed to take home and use right-away! I suggest that they can also add it to yogurt, cereal, etc. for a nutritious Omega-3 boost!" --- Mary Therese Maslanka, RD, LDN
  7. "I like quick cooking barley. Beef, spinach and barley soup is wonderful on a cold night. Add a salad and whole wheat bread for a a hearty meal. I also add light cream cheese (garden flavor is yummy)to cooked barley for a creamy side dish." --- Daryl Minch
  8. "The “boil in bag” whole grain brown rice is great! No sodium and so quick and easy." Sharol Cripe
  9. "Since brown rice takes so long to cook, I prepare an entire 2 lb. bag in a covered dutch oven in the oven. I then freeze the rice in 2 cup portions. It thaws quickly to use in a variety of recipes." --- Frances Wilkinson
  10. "I love hot cereal in the morning, but who has tome to make it? On a weeknight or weekend, I make up two big pots of my favorite grains like quinoa or steel cut oats. For a calcium and protein boost, I mix in a quart envelope of dry milk powder before adding the water, and then I cook it on medium, stirring frequently until cooked. After they cool a little, I package the cereals in 1-cup portions and freeze. We just zap them in the microwave in the morning for a wonderful hot breakfast." --- Mary Choate
  11. "I have a tip that makes an inexpensive version of “crab spaghetti”. Using whole wheat spaghetti, spaghetti sauce, basil, lemon pepper, and old bay MD Crab Seasoning. This gives the taste of crab without spending on crab meat." --- Charese Robinson, Associate Agent, Food Supplement Nutrition Ed.

Here are the results of the poll for food and nutrition professionals for the question, "what is your favorite grain food?" - whole wheat bread won and is followed closely by oatmeal and brown rice:

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